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Trump-loving GOP congressman gets arrested by the FBI on securities fraud charges

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was arrested by federal law enforcement officials on securities fraud charges, according to NBC News’ Peter Alexander.

In addition to Collins himself, Collins’ son, Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ fiancée, were also charged as part of the indictment for securities fraud.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that Collins last year passed “material, nonpublic information” about Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics to his son so he “could use that information to make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others.”

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In total, the indictment alleges that the insider trading scheme helped the defendants “avoid over $768,000 in losses that they would have otherwise incurred if they had sold their stock in Innate” after the nonpublic information had been released.

Collins, who was one of President Donald Trump’s first congressional endorsers, has been under scrutiny for the last year for potential insider trading of shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics, a company where Collins himself is the largest majority shareholder.

Last fall, for instance, the Office of Congressional Ethics released a report that concluded there was “substantial reason to believe” that Collins had broken federal law regarding insider trading in his dealings with the stock.

Read the full indictment at this link.


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Only 5,500 rapid COVID-19 tests touted by Trump are being deployed — for the entire country: report

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by Rachana Pradham

A coronavirus test made by Abbott Laboratories and introduced with considerable fanfare by President Donald Trump in a Rose Garden news conference this week is giving state and local health officials very little added capacity to perform speedy tests needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s a whole new ballgame,” Trump said. “I want to thank Abbott Labs for the incredible work they’ve done. They’ve been working around-the-clock.”

Yet a document circulated among officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week shows that state and local public health labs were set to receive a total of only 5,500 coronavirus tests from the giant manufacturer of medical devices, diagnostics and drugs, according to emails obtained by Kaiser Health News.

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Maddow reports Florida governor is letting ‘coronavirus-denialist megachurch guy’ hold huge services

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On Sunday, the River Church in Tampa was packed with parishioners despite the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

The following day, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for violating the county's social distancing rules.

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Here’s how Christian Nationalists have shaped the federal government’s response to coronavirus

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On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show "The Gist" with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government's disastrous response to coronavirus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn't it?" said Pesca. "Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response."

"It's a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we're dealing with here, is not a religion," said Stewart. "Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it's a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it's a movement that put Trump in power."

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